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May 30, 2018

COLA Tells Teachers Beware of SmartStream

Geovannie Brackett

Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action says it has uncovered what it calls a “Machiavellian move for power by the Government.” Ahead of the new school year, government plans to move payments for teachers from the purview of the various church-state managements to that of the SmartStream payroll and accounting system. While it appears to promote efficiency, the organization says it would put teachers directly in the firing line when it came to moves to organize industrial action, le*9aving them vulnerable to salary deductions. It also argues that the church-state partnership would be made obsolete. COLA president Geovannie Brackett told us today that the Belize National Teachers’ Union may be opening themselves to union-busting.

 

Geovannie Brackett, President, C.O.L.A.

“It’s like a hurricane; you don’t get it every summer, but you prepare for it; and it seems that the government is preparing for the next Category Five move by the teachers. I believe this move is a form of union-busting. They will say that it’s for efficiency process; in our consultation, we believe what we have been told by credible teachers and from consulting with different managements, is that if it’s efficiency they want, they can just move the communiqué between the managements and the ministries of finance and education, to electronic fully, rather than having to print and send pay sheets. But those can be discussed, I think, with the relevant persons in the union, management and so forth; but we just wanted to highlight these issues as it was brought to us and have the discussion. We believe that it’s a move that should be stopped.”

 

COLA appeals to the B.N.T.U. to re-evaluate the matter and consult with its membership. We contacted President Elena Smith, but she said she was in a meeting, as was C.E.O. in the Ministry of Education Deborah Domingo.

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